DEFINITION of The Conference Board

The Conference Board is a member-driven think tank that distributes information about management and the marketplace, to some 2000 businesses across various industries and geographies, via peer-to-peer meetings. Founded in 1916, this not-for-profit research organization is a widely quoted private source of business intelligence.

BREAKING DOWN The Conference Board

Based in New York, with offices across Belgium, China, and Canada, The Conference Board aims to delve into the issues that companies grapple with today, such as top-line growth in a shifting economic environment and corporate governance standards. According to the Conference Board’s website, it’s main agenda is to help leaders navigate the biggest issues facing business and better serve society, by reflecting the input and the real-world challenges of its members. However, the Conference Board is best known for its widely-followed economic indicators, particularly the Consumer Confidence Index. This monthly report reflects prevailing business conditions and likely developments for the months ahead, by detailing consumer attitudes and buying intentions, with data broken down by age, income, and region.

The Conference Board website categorizes its content according to various “centers”, including: The Committee for Economic Development, Corporate Governance, Economy, Strategy & Finance, Human Capital, and Marketing & Communications. Each of these centers offers unique sets of research and reference materials, including blogs, white papers and podcasts. For example, some tantalizing podcast titles offered by the Committee for Economic Development include: “How Can Boards & C-Suites Increase Gender Diversity?”, “Why Should You Care About the National Debt?” and “Apprenticeships are Back in Business.”

Throughout the year, The Conference Board sponsors multiple worldwide conferences that focus on a variety of themes and topics, such as:

·      Employee benefits and compensation

·      Talent management strategies

·      Employee health care

·      Leadership

·      Executive coaching

·      Joint ventures and strategic alliances

·      Diversity and inclusion

·      Merger integration

Finally, despite its high profile presence, the Conference board maintains a staunch apolitical posture, as per its charter, which mandates: “No substantial part of the activities of the Corporation shall be the carrying on of propaganda, and the Corporation shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publication or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office. For example, TCB does not:

·      Contribute to a campaign committee, a candidate, a political party, or a Political Action Committee.

·      Publish or distribute written statements or making oral statements on behalf of or in opposition to a candidate, or pay salaries or expenses of campaign workers.

·      Allow its telephones, computers, facilities or other assets to be used for political campaign activity, or participate in any arrangement that could reasonably be construed as supporting or opposing a candidate.